Use Facebook’s people search and other tricks to find someone online
Searching Facebook is a great way to find someone online. With it being the largest social networking site in existence, Facebook people search allows your odds of finding the person you’re looking for are fairly high.
The site lets its users add lots of information about themselves to their profile, and the inherent function of the platform is to bring people closer together through information sharing. You can leverage this to help you find someone on Facebook, whether it’s a friend you used to know, a family member, etc.
Tip: Dedicated people search engines can also be helpful in your search, even more so if you don’t know the person’s name, you have no friends in common, they’ve blocked you, or if you and/or them don’t use Facebook.
1. Do a Facebook Search by the Person’s Name
The main search bar at the top of the website is one method for finding people on Facebook by their name. You can type a name and then filter the results to narrow them down.
Here are some tips to remember when using Facebook’s people search tool:
- When you’re searching for just people, select People to avoid finding business pages, events, and other content.
- Use the filters off to the left to make the results more relevant. For example, find old classmates using their name and the Education filter (choose your school), or pick a business you’ve worked for from Work to find coworkers with that name.
- You don’t have to have been associated with the person to locate them. Select City, for example, for profiles with that information in them.
2. Search Facebook by the Person’s Employer or School
Don’t know the person’s name? You can still do a Facebook search for someone, even if you’re not sure what their name is. Knowing where they work or went to school, for example, makes it a lot easier to find them online.
Start by searching for the business/school, and then choose People to filter the results by users who have that place listed on their profile. Since lots of people add to their profile the companies and schools they currently or used to be associated with, finding the person suddenly gets a lot easier.
3. Piggyback on Your Friends’ Friends
Using one of your Facebook friends to find someone else is one of the best ways to find someone if you suspect the person has anything to do with one of your existing friends.
For example, if they used to work with you and/or another friend, or you used to all go to the same school or live in the same city, a mutual friend search is your best bet in finding them.
There are a few ways to do this:
- Visit a friend’s profile and select the Friends tab to see all of their friends. You can view and search through the full list or read through their recently added friends and friends from groups, such as their workplace, hometown, or high school.
- Another way to search for a friend’s friend is to browse the People You May Know page, which is a list of people you might know based on your Facebook friends.
- Follow Step 1 above, but use the Friends of Friends filter.
4. Search for People in Public Groups
Groups are another way to find people online with Facebook. If you know the person is interested in a particular topic, you can browse groups they might be in.
To do this, search for a group from the search bar at the top of the site, and then select Groups from the menu. Once you’re on the group’s page, open the Members or People section to find the search bar.
Tip: Be sure to select Public Groups on the results page if you want to be able to see its members (closed groups require you to be a member to see the other people that have joined).
5. Do a Facebook Search by Phone Number
Trying to figure out who owns a phone number that called you? Facebook can also be used for a reverse number search; just type the number into the search bar to see what shows up.
It’s unlikely that you’ll find public posts that contain their number, but you might have luck digging up an old post made by one of your Facebook friends. This is an easy way to find an old friend’s phone number.
Use the filtering options to narrow down the results. For example, use the Date Posted filter from the Posts tab if you happen to know the year the post was made.
6. Use Facebook to Search for Related Information
Something else you can do is use Facebook to find someone’s presence elsewhere on the internet. You’d do this if you already have their Facebook details, but you’re wanting their other social media account links, too, like to see if they also have a Twitter, Pinterest, online dating profiles, etc.
Every Facebook profile has a unique username at the very end of its URL. Search it on Google or another search engine to see if other accounts show up.
Another idea is to do a reverse image search on a photo from the person’s profile. It can be their profile image or any other picture of them from their account. If they’ve posted that same exact image elsewhere, you might be able to dig up their other online accounts. Websites like Google Images and TinEye are great for this.